NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 29- The national under-20 rugby team will face hosts Namibia in the final of the Barthes Cup on Saturday in Windhoek after both teams won their respective first round ties on Wednesday evening.
Chipu were rampant, beating Madagascar 51-13 in the first match the Hage Geingob Stadium while Namibia beat Zimbabwe 27-17.
The two teams will vie for a slot in the final round of qualification for the World Junior trophy slated for later this year, with the winner of this Southern Region taking on the Northern Region winners in a play-off for Africa’s sole berth.
Paul Odera’s Chipu were in unstoppable form against Madagascar.
Chipu drew first blood through a Mark Mutuku try with Xavier Kipng’etich adding the extras. A penalty against Kenya in the eleventh minute saw Madagascar opt for the three points that Raicoto Niaina drilled in narrowing the gap to 7-3.
Monate Akuei landed Chipu’s second try, Kipng’etich sure with his boot extended their lead to 14-3. The lead was however short lived as Madagascar split Chipu’s defense landing their first and only try in the match with the conversion being successful for a 14-10 score.
A loose Madagascar ball was picked up by the very tall Zeden Marrow who passed it to teammate Kipng’etich to land Chipu’s third try but the conversion would be short.
Nine minutes to the breather, eighth man Mark Mutuku landed his brace at the corner, conversion sailing wide. Half Time scores 24-10.
A Chipu infringement saw them soak in a second penalty as Madagascar added three points to their tally. Captain Kipng’etich added ten points for his side as he booted in a penalty, scored a try and converted it taking Chipu’s score to 34-13.
The second half was dominated by Chipu as they went on to add two more tries as Jeff Mutuku landed his first try in the match that was quickly followed by a Victor Matiko try. Joshua Macharia converting both.
In the last play, Chipu’s attacking pace was slowed down by the Madagascan defense, who though relentless, soaked in a penalty that saw Chipu opt for the three points to walk away with a strong 51-13 win over their opponents.